Willie Dickens 'Buddy' Hayes Jr.

Willie Dickens 'Buddy' Hayes Jr., went on his heavenly journey July 21, 2013. He was born on Aug. 22, 1938, in Shelbyville, Tenn., to Mary Helen and Willie Dickens Hayes.

Buddy's career path was initiated in 1955 by volunteering with the United States Air Force for a six year tour which included two years at Clark Air Force Base, Philippine Islands. His duties involved maintaining ground control approach precision and search radar systems. He was honorably discharged in 1960 and preceded to the University of Tennessee where he received a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering in 1965.

His employment with General Dynamics in Fort Worth, Texas, and Emerson Electric in St. Louis, Mo., lead to his 27 year career with the U.S. Air Force as an Aerospace Engineer at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. He was principally involved with development programs that included Aerial Targets, AMRAAM and Air Combat Training Systems. He spent five years as an in-plant representative for the U. S. Air Force AMRAAM program at the Hughes Aircraft plant facility in Tucson, Ariz. After retiring from civil service in 1997, duty called else where. He spent two years with Cubic Defense Systems, San Diego, Calif., supporting proposal development and managing the installation of an Air Combat Training system at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Continued employment, as a consultant, with Metric Systems (IDT, DRS) was initiated during 1999 and concluded 10 years later. He will miss the association with his co workers, developed over his many years of employment.

He was preceded in death by both parents and his younger sister, Phyllis Ann Hobbs.

Buddy is survived by his loving wife of 52 years, Beverly Hayes; daughter, Pamela Hayes West and husband, Philip, of Destin, Fla.; sons, Jason D. Hayes of Fort Walton Beach, Fla., and Michael L. Hayes; grandsons, Christian and Austin of Mesa, Ariz.; and sisters, Mary Jane Godwin, Billie Crowell and June Garrett and husband, Bob.

Buddy was dearly loved and will be deeply missed by all who knew him.

There will be a memorial service at 4 p.m. July 25 at Emerald Coast Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to your preferred charity or The American Cancer Society .